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Adult Grief Guide for healthcare professionals

From the instant a terminally ill patient is hospitalised, until moments prior to their death, the healthcare professional must frequently respond to the first symptoms of grief that come along in the face of death among a patient’s relatives. Their intervention is critical in order to aid in overcoming the ensuing process that, if not tended to correctly, may degenerate into more serious health problems.

Recent studies have highlighted the importance of emotional support provided by healthcare professionals to patients and relatives during the moments prior to a death and how their intervention directly influences the subsequent evolution of grief. In fact, an effective therapeutic intervention in bereaved people has been proven to aid in reducing feelings of hopelessness, depression, and anxiety.

Thus, the FMLC team of experts has developed this “Adult Grief Guide”, a free handbook that with its newly revised and expanded edition, offers healthcare professionals information on how to address grief and improve assistance offered to the bereaved, in addition to providing them with tools to manage situations of great emotional intensity.

Guide Contents

This guidebook has been written by Sara Losantos, head of FMLC’s Grief Psychology area, with the contributions of Patricia Díaz and Pilar Pastor. The contents of the guide are directed at every type of healthcare professional (doctors, nurses, psychologists), the main objective is set in helping them improve assistance provided to patients and their family during the process of illness, loss and grief.

Written in a clear, concise and precise style and illustrated by Malagón, the handbook offers key guidelines surrounding the grief process at all levels of intervention: whether in accompaniment, counseling or therapy. The contents ranges from the most basic definitions -what is grief, physical implications, misconceptions around it- to grief assistance in special and delicate situations, such as in cases pertaining suicide or perinatal death.